‘RIFF : A Life to folk music of Marwar’

Fort Mehran 

Most famous fortifications are monuments to some despot’s hatred, greed, arrogance or ambition. But the Mehrangarh Fort is testament to the foresight and good taste of the current Maharaja, Gaj Singh II, who has helped making it a new symbol for the city, best known for the riding breeches that the English once discovered there.
High above the tumult, the fort’s most spectacular vista may be a glimpse of an India that is at once accessible and serene, properly respectful of the past and perfectly packaged. But, just in case it all seems too orderly, the cubistic warren of Jodhpur’s Blue City, a casaba mirroring the sky, is five kilometers of winding road away, packed with pastel-colored lanes offering everything India has ever made or bartered.
To say this palace comes with unobstructed views would be an understatement: in its shadow, the barren beginnings of the Thar Desert stretch for as far as the eye will allow.

RIFF
Jodhpur’s Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF), is a not-for-profit partnership project involving two of India’s leading heritage trusts: Mehrangarh Museum Trust and Jaipur Virasat Foundation. The festival has been endorsed by UNESCO as a “Peoples’ Platform for Creativity and Sustainable Development.”
HH Gaj Singh of Marwar-Jodhpur is the Chief Patron of Jodhpur RIFF
Sir Mick Jagger, front man of the rock band The Rolling Stones is International Patron of Jodhpur RIFF.
RIFF, a festival timed to coincide with “Sharad Purnima” the brightest full moon of the year in north India which features a series of spectacular concerts and events based in and around Mehrangarh Fort, voted “Asia’s Best Fortress & Presents a platform for the folk and root musicians of Rajasthan with international music collaborations.
The festival aims to bring to life the folk music, which has been marginalized since independence, and impact the livelihood of the singers, Through festivals like these, folk musicians, “who aren’t getting enough opportunities in India to showcase their music”, are now known across the world.


Credits- Deepak soni 

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A walk around thoughts!

 

A few weeks ago I experienced a wonderful experience in Jodhpur, which I feel is worthy of sharing with you.

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Built atop the hill holding the stature of Mehrangarh Fort since centuries, anyone would lose control over themselves once they see the intriguing view of the city of Jodhpur from the famous Chamunda Devi temple. Overlooking the blue city, you are certain to get a pious feeling upon entering the temple’s compound. The devout followers of Goddess Chamunda believe that her very presence has protected the culture and citizens of this city, and will continue to do so till the existence of Jodhpur.

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After spending some time in solace and watching the beautiful sunset from the temple, I took a cobbled path which led me to Sardar Market. It wasn’t just a walk down the market. It was more.it was a lesson that change is inevitable. You cross paths with a lot during the life and you witness changes. And all of that, just adds a bit more of ‘’you’’ in you. I entered the market with these abstract thoughts. And amazed at the kind of comfort that hustle and bustle of crowd imparted in me. Life sometimes comes in such simple wraps. I saw kids playing with ice cream sticks and I just clutched hard my expensive hi-tech gadgets, wondering why couldn’t they give me such happiness. On my way down, I came across numerous sanctums with marvellous architecture, clearly telling me they were wizened with age.

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Beneath the dark sky, the shimmering Clock Tower situated at the centre of Sardar Market provoked a feeling of completeness in my mind, something that still occupies a corner in my mind portentous.

Although I have been living in Delhi since the past few years, I can say for sure that Jodhpur gave me the same mesmerizing feeling which I used to feel in my childhood days. Albeit the roads have changed their destinations, but the journey still carries the same charm which makes a home for everyone.


Author- Hrithik Bhandari

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AIESEC in Jodhpur

Picture Credits- Deepak Soni

Paint it Blue!

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Jodhpur, a city of vibrant blues juxtaposed beautifully amidst the brown sands of the Thar Desert has an ingenuous contribution in the diversity and heritage for the state of Rajasthan as well as India. Also known as the Sun City, Jodhpur derives its appellate of “Blue City” from numerous myths associated with it.

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Some believe that the founder of Jodhpur, Rao Jodha, ordered all the houses to be frescoed blue. Some recall that the Brahmins, a priestly group in the Indian caste system, considered blue color to be auspicious and hence casted their houses blue. People also give a weather linked averment that not only blue shade helps in reflecting the scorching heat from the sun, but also it maintains the temperatures of buildings to be low in spite of the fervent sun shining overhead this vibrant city.

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One can surely feel a chill of coolness running down their spine due the eye catching blue color painted on myriad houses of this city, this calmness also resides in the minds and hearts of people residing in the Sun City. The citizens of Jodhpur uphold such an affable and calm behavior within the bliss of Marwari tradition that whoever visits Jodhpur is likely to get attached with both the city’s beauty and the people’s nature.

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Albeit modern Jodhpur stretches beyond the ramparts of old city, it’s the intervening buzz of the old Blue City encapsulating the majestic Mehrangarh Fort amidst it that captures the traveller’s contemplation. This city has It’s doors and hearts open for the world, catering love and hospitality!

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Not all cities deserve to have sobriquets, but anyone looking out over this city from the wanton Mehrangarh Fort will realize that the term “BLUE CITY” is indeed apt, despite of the true reason behind the prevalence of this hue.

 


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Author-  Abhishek Goyal

AIESEC in Jodhpur

 

Celebrating the timeless 558 years-Jodhpur

 

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Set in the stark background of Thar desert, this north western city of Rajasthan has had a long journey from a hilly conquered land mass to the Second largest city of the State. Back in 1459, Rao Jodha, A Rajput Chief of Rathore Clan, was set out with a vision of victory and conquest. And the biggest embark of this Victory was Jodhpur, named after its founder! It was chosen as the Capital of Marwar, for its high rocky ridge to enhance hilltop safety. This is where the fortress was build, which now is the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort, blessed by the Kuldevi of Jodhpur rulers, Chamunda Mata. The construction of the fort was begun by Maharaja Rao Jodha in 1459 and was completed by Maharaja Jaswant Singh in the memory of whom, stands the serene Jaswanthada. Though set in a waterless barren land, royal blue Jodhpur has flourished with regal elegance. Walled city of Jodhpur is surrounded by 6 gates of which, Sojati gate and Jalori gate became the busiest commercial centres. Clock tower or Ghantaghar, is situated on the meeting point of two gates, Nagauri gate and Merti Gate.

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The city

Jodhpur has its roots in deep historic soils. Be it the Aryans, Gurjars, Mughals or the Rajputs, it has embraced in its lap, the triumphs and turmoil of time immemorial.  It is considered to be one of the most exotic places to be in the world! The majestic Palace, the walled city roads or the temples, everything in this city is aged with perfection and brilliance! Every bit has been carved with respect for its culture for those who loved their mother land!

Today, 12h may 2016, we celebrate the 558th foundation year of Jodhpur! We salute the vision of Rao Jodha, we salute every stone of the fort that fought for us, every scar of the cannonballs still alive on its walls, to the centuries of pride and honour we have been inherited with, and Salute to all the Heroes, who never let the Royalty of this culture die!

Because our Culture, is our Brand! Happy Birthday Jodhpur!

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Author – Pooja Purohit

Picture Credits- Deepak Soni

Gangaur: Festival of Rejoice

 

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If you are present in Jodhpur and it’s the first day of Hindu New Year, you should definitely tie your shoelaces and be ready to homogenize in the festive mood of the Gangaur festival. Surrounded by people dressed in shimmering traditional Rajasthani dresses, you will feel the heat of this festival for certain, forgetting all the boredom  and mundanity.

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Listed amongst the most important and celebrated festivals of Rajasthan, and a specialty in Jodhpur, Gangaur festival is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva (Gan) and his wife, Goddess Parvati (Gaur). Whether it is married or unmarried women, ladies camouflage themselves as men, like dacoits, saints, police or army men and many more disguises. So if you are strolling on the streets on Gangaur, you better make a mindset that you will be at the mercy of these oddly dressed females!

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Carrying sticks or Baints in hand, these disguised women march across the streets of the blue city, protecting the statue of Dhinga Gavar and beating up unmarried boys who crosses their way!

The myth behind this act is that whoever gets beaten up or even touched by the sticks gets married soon with his dream girl. So if you are still single, Gangaur is the festival for you! Also, on this pious day, unmarried girls willing to get married keep fasts in order to find their suitable groom.

In the morning, married women of different mohallas carry out processions with the statues of Gaur and Isar bare footedly to the temples to pray for the long life of their partner. Although the day ends with this, but the dusk still awaits the wavering of disco lights, when dance floors are set up at public squares and people dance to their heart’s content on the beats of DJ!

Apart from Jodhpur, Gangaur festival is also celebrated in other cities of Rajasthan, such as Bikaner, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Udaipur etc. Even though the festival is celebrated in an enjoying manner, but one cannot remain without appreciating the faith people have in Gangaur and its belief. Moreover, it’s the utter devotion of people which earns this festival its obeisance.

In brief, we can consider Gangaur to be a festival for the bachelors. For those who are married can engage their minds and souls in the mouth-watering tastes of numerous sweet dishes prepared this day, such as the Ghevar and Barfi. So instead of imagining the mind boggling scenarios of Gangaur festival roll out on the streets and dissolve yourself in the vibrant fumes of this festival of fun and frolic, Gangaur.


Author- Ashutosh Chandra

Picture Credits- Anil Purohit

One year in INDIA

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MY EXPERIENCE IN INDIA AFTER 1 YEAR

Good morning, my name is Beblai Gabin, I am from Ivory Coast, a French speaking country in West Africa, currently residing in Jodhpur, a beautiful city in Rajasthan. I like travelling, my dream is to travel into many countries as much as I can. I have travelled in few countries recently and India is the last country I have travelled for.  Well I am going to talk a little bit about my experience in India especially Jodhpur, after been here for 1 year.

But I think you have to know why did I come here, and what keep me here? That what you’re going to figure out. I have decided to travel in India 2 years back, because of its culture, I really didn’t know that much about Indians’ culture before that period. Everything start when I started watching Indian’s series “vaidehi- ek aur agni pareeksha” through our national TV in my country, where pallavi Kulkarni the main actress become my favourite and she came to visit my country at the end of the series because she has become famed over there. I discovered Indian culture through this series and it’s come to my mind to travel someday in India because I think “in India everything is possible” that’s how I get here.

I am far away to have travelled all around the world, but from what I have seen nowhere else, the culture shock is so intense in India. Because it’s rare, to find two dissimilar religions such as Hinduism with its many Gods and Islam with  belief in one God, is so surprising. That’s why I said everything is possible in India. Travelling in India is one of my best experience up to now, this semblance of chaos which is India itself contain more life than anywhere else, to figure it out you just need to have a look around and you will see how India is warm, wiggling, exuberant, so full of life. Why do I like India and why I still in India??? These are the answers below:

– Because India have plenty of appealing sceneries and touristic places to visit. And Jodhpur being my favourite is simple yet so colourful.

– Because, India is the only county where you can find all the different seasons at the same time. It’s hot in some places while it’s snow or cold in others. I make myself at home over here because the place where I live in India have a bit the same weather like in my county.

– Because people are nice, friendly, and always ready to help when you appeal to them wherever in the street, in the train, bus mainly in Jodhpur my host city. It’s a place I have travelled for and found someone says you’re my son, you’re my brother.

– Because, you don’t need to be in the countryside to know what is a cow. You can find it everywhere in the city.

– Because, it’s November (Diwali) the 365 days per year.

– Because Indians shake their head. Generally it’s means “yes”, but often it’s means “no”. to be honest I am always confuse when my friends do shake their heads when I ask for something

– Because there is no such fancy than seeing a “sikh” with his awesome turban around his head, an Rajput with his turban and his earrings, without forgetting  beautiful Indian lady with her sari.

– Because Indian speak with a special English accent that you can’t find nowhere else. Marwari of jodhpur being such a sugar to ears.

– Because of the traffic’s madness, people don’t drive right nor left but where their cars or bikes can find a way to go through.

– Because the cheap cost of life, swanky restaurants and hotels offer cheap and good services, you can live comfortably if you are not a spender.

– Because Indians are curious… so curious that they wouldn’t hesitate to ask you questions or take selfies with you even if its the first time they’re meeting you.

– Because India have plenty of festivals, the culture is not the same from south to north and from west to east it’s like you’re living in 4 different countries, the culture diversity is unbelievable over here.

 Because in India everything is possible, but sometime not available.


Author : Beblai Gabin

India of my Dreams

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India of my dreams

Back home. Back to the place where I was born and where I grew up. I should feel warm, secure, relaxed. So why am I so anxious and worried?

I don’t want to get into an all depressive speech but it is a fact that this country doesn’t seem more at my eyes than sad. I tell you what happened in the airport in London. I had to wait a few hours sitting in the airport, as you can imagine a lot of people passed by me and it was hard when I realized that I was no longer in that warm country called India. I was in a strong yellow skirt and wearing slippers, contrasting with all the rest, in black winter clothes. The faces perfectly perfect, no sweat and a lot of make-up, as well as they had the hair in cared hairstyles. No one gives a look back, no one sees anyone. Not a word, not a smile, not a wink, nothing. Between all the dark moving bodies I started to see color, to see a floor made of yellow dust, orange turbans, tanned tummies, sparkling sarees and floating scarves. I noticed that those people don’t really seem like people, they are far from that, the way they act, the way they walk. I had forgotten these minds, what they think and care about, they are disguised, they are so far… Far from their roots, from their real needs, from the animal they are and this breaks me in the inside. What makes me nervous is this society, full of manners and prejudice, where people are so full of themselves and already forgot the meaning of help.

 

Of course I can’t generalize and that this state of spirit as to do with a lot of personal issues such as the uncertainty of the future, a thesis to do, a job to find. Also, it is true that Portugal is a good country, clean, safe, beautiful and the people, though their peculiarity of being “labregos” they can be a pretty funny people.

But there… there you only need to exist, everything comes to you. You are in the world, no need to keep searching for it. No fear. As I realized when I reflected about religion in a previous post, you only need to believe, believe in whatever you want. No harm will come to you on that country/world of trust and faith if you decide so.

Plus, when you go out is when you are free from all the social context limitations and influences and when you can discover more about yourself and be able to go further, on your tastes, on your skills, on your adventures and independence.

Part of me is now on the other side of the Earth and it ain’t easy. It is hard when home is not only in one place, when it is in Portugal, Turkey and India, when we can’t have the people we love at a distance of a cab. Half of me is now empty in an empty place and I miss that one where I only used to see beauty, where I was in love with everything and with everyone.